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Feb. 21, 2010
Spartanburg, S.C. - Lauren Brummell drove in the game-winning run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning to lead UMBC to a 2-1 victory over USC Upstate in the championship game of the second annual Campus Suites Spartan Classic Sunday afternoon at Cyrill Stadium. In the third place game, Liberty scored in the bottom of the seventh to take a 3-2 win over Eastern Kentucky.
Brummell was named the tournament MVP after hitting .455 in the tournament. She was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run in the championship game Sunday. UMBC improved to 3-1 on the year, while Upstate fell to 3-3 on the year. The Spartans will play host to Tusculum Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 at Cyrill Stadium.
UMBC jumped on top in the first inning on Brummell's solo home run. For most of the game, it looked like the run would hold up to be the difference. Upstate starter Morgan Childers and UMBC starter Heather Brown kept the other teams' bats quiet for most of the game. Childers, despite allowing the solo home run, was dominant with 12 strikeouts while scattering just three hits over the first seven innings. Brown tossed 4 2/3 innings, giving up just four hits. Stephanie Weigman relieved Brown in the fifth inning and was solid as well.
Upstate had several opportunities in the game to get on the scoreboard. The Spartans put runners on second and third with one out in the first, runners on second and third with two outs in the fourth and fifth, and a runner on third with one out in the sixth, but could not push a run across.
Upstate finally broke through in the bottom of the seventh. Kim Brasil walked with one out and stole second with two outs. She advanced to third on a wild pitch and later scored on a wild pitch to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
Using the international tiebreaker rules, each team started the eighth inning with a runner on second. UMBC put runners on second and third with one out. Brummell lifted a high fly to center where Crislyn Chewning settled underneath the ball for the second out of the inning. She fired a throw home to try to get Amanda Damiano at the plate. The throw was on target and Brasil looked to have applied the tag, but the runner was called safe as the umpire ruled that Brasil's swipe did not touch Damiano.
In the bottom of the inning, Upstate put runners on second and third with one out, but again could not get a run home. Weigman induced a pop up and a foul out to end the game as the Retrievers took the win. Weigman tossed 3 1/3 innings of relief to earn the win. Childers took the loss, her first of the season, to fall to 3-1 on the year.
"I like the fact that we came through when our backs were against the wall in the seventh," said Upstate head coach Chris Hawkins. "We had several opportunities to score earlier in the game which would have kept us out of that position, but didn't. Morgan pitched another great game. Our hitting isn't where it needs to be right now, but I see a lot of our players looking like they are coming around. We will continue to work on things that we need to improve and will get back at it Tuesday."
Childers was named to the all-tournament team after leading the tournament with 43 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA. She went 2-1 over the weekend. She was joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Katie Zauner and Ericka Harris. Zauner led Upstate at the plate with a .455 average over the weekend. She also scored four runs. Harris drove in the game-winning run in Friday's win over UMBC, finishing the tournament with a .375 batting average and three RBI.
Third Place Game - Liberty 3, Eastern Kentucky 2
EKU (0-4) jumped on top with a run in the first inning when Raquel Howes grounded out but drove in a run. Liberty (3-2) countered with two runs in the bottom of the frame on Kaylee West's sacrifice fly and J'nae Jefferson's run on a wild pitch.
The score remained 2-1 until EKU tied it with a run in the fourth. Handley drove in a run on a double.
Down to their last out before sending the game to extra innings, Liberty came through in the bottom of the seventh. DePasquale singled to lead off the inning. She advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Howard's double down the line in left to deliver the win for the Flames. Tiffani Smith tossed an inning of relief to earn the win and improve to 2-1 on the year. Katrina Johnson started for Liberty and threw six solid innings. Noelani Esperas went the distance for EKU to take the loss.